Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Rain, Floods, and Transfers

Dear Family,

Well first things first, this last friday we came home to our apartment after a very rainy day to find a good inch of water had entered our house!!!!!!!! In other words, we had a FLOOD.  All of my books were soaked including a lot of my clothes. Our neighbors helped us for a good hour soak up all the water with towels, wring the towels out, and then soak up more water. It was an adventure!
 
This week started the rainy season in Nicoya, it's been rainy a lot and there are now a lot of mosquitoes, but it was helping to prepare me for my new home...that's right, I had transfers today!  I am now in Guapiles, Limon which is on the other side of the country. My companion, Hna Miriel is going to train!!!!!  I was super sad to leave NIcoya, I love the branch and the members, but I'm ready to work hard here in my new area.  My new companion is a gringa.  Hermana Gucake from California (I think she's Polynesian though).  She seems really nice and friendly, she has only three months left in her mission.  I just arrived to my new area, so I can't say much about it, just that it's really green and it's in the city.

Last week during divisions my companion was able to put a baptism date with a teenager, Vanessa.  Her mom is a less active.  She came to church Sunday and we are hoping that she is going to be baptized at the end of this month.  I got news that one of the investigators I started teaching in Turrialba,  Yorleni, is going to get married and be baptized!  That was super exciting!

We have been finding SO many less actives than their part member families.  It's as if the Lord is hastening is work and bringing back those that have strayed from the path, because these last few weeks we have probably found ten less actives.  Many of them want to reactivate!!!!

I straightened my hair for the first time yesterday in one year, but as soon as I left the house it became curly again from the humidity. BAD IDEA!

Love you all!  Yes mom I received your package.  THANK YOU!!!!  I received some packages from Grandma too.  Thanks grandma!  I have been enjoying the chocolate and church news!

Love you love you love you. LES QUIERO!

In the next transfer the mission is going to be divided!

Hermana Bratt

My District in Nicoya and Santa Cruz

Foot tan from my leather shoes

Katalina

Me and my companion

Me with Hermana Samayoa

My New Companion

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Coincidence? I Think Not!

Dear Family,

Well Saturday and Sunday we had district conference in guanacaste.  Over the past few months the missionaries and members her have been working really hard to grow the church, and guess what! We are going to be a stake!!!! YEAH! 

Elder Alonso, from the Seventy attended the conference.  His talks were great! Dad: He told the leaders"A great ward council lasts only 15 mins. A good one 30 mins. One ok is 1 hour and one that is horrible lasts 2 hours."

I don't have much time today, my email time is cut short because we are going to see "Meet the Mormons" as a zone because our baptism numbers were high.  But here are a few little miracles that happened:

Yesterday we were walking to an investigators house in the dark and I was sending a text message. I was paying good attention to where we were going and when we reached the street of the investigator we turned down it and after a bit passed a car.  The man in the car greeted us "Hermanas!"  He then introduced himself as a member of the church from another branch.  There were some other people on the other side of the car and he told us that they are his sister and her kids, all members of the church but inactive.  He kind of invited us to get to know her and help her be active again.  The hermana, Ana Yansi, was a little reserved but we are planning on visiting her today or tomorrow. Afterwards we continued walking down the road and not until he got to the end of the street did I realize it was the wrong one! If we hadn't walked down the street at exactly that time we never would have met them!  Coincidence?  I think not!

Katalina, our recent convert has had a lot of problems in her work.  She's been living in her employers house and watching her child and cleaning the house, but her employer is exploiting her and not wanting to pay her.  Also she found out the her baby has to have open heart surgery.  So she can't working at her employer´s house anymore.  She didn't know what she was going to do for a while and was really scared.  But the Relief Society president told Katalina that she can live with her and her family.  It was a huge blessing and act of service. They live a little far away though so we are going to have to travel in bus and loose half the day when we visit her.

Ah!!!!! No time! Love you all!  Have fun in Mexico for me!

Hermana Bratt



Tuesday, May 26, 2015

New People! New Experiences!

Dear Family

I realized this week that when I decided to serve a mission I didn't have ANY idea what I was getting myself into.  It's hard sometimes, to be so accountable to the Lord.  One leaves high school where your biggest worry is if you are popular, or if you can get good grades, to a different country, where your worries suddenly quadruplify and become worries about the salvation and happiness of the people around you.  One has to grow up fast here!

I don't know how our Heavenly Father copes with agency.  This week we had two investigators, Nicole and Monserat, who had their baptism interviews and were ready to be baptized this Thursday. However when we passed by Sunday morning they told us they didn't want to come to church this week, as their grandmother, Beatriz, couldn't accompany them.  We tried to do everything possible to have them come, but nothing worked.  I wanted so much to shakle them with chains and drag them along.  It hard when people you love use their agency to choose something other than the Lord.
This week we found 25 new investigators, 13 of the yesterday. That was awesome!
One couple, Evelynn and Johnny, we walked past in the park and my companion paused to talk to them.  Evelynn seems really open and told us that she's seen our church and wanted to attend it before, she also told us that when we meet again she is going to bring two friends along with her. she and her boyfriend accepted a baptism date for the 4 of July.  They have to get married first, but they are really awesome!
Another person we found is Elisanias (or something like that).  He is the buisness partner of Nolasco, who is the first counselor in the branch presidency.  He told us that after 5 years Nolasco never had invited him to church, so we invited him and he came to church Sunday.
We also found another family that is REALLLLY interesting.  The wife, Yirlani is really quiet and her husband in the lesson wouldn't stop talking.  He told us that we have to be very frank and ask direct questions.  He also commanded us to "convince him of the truth".  They have four cute kids though, and gave us some yummy food.
About a month ago we started teaching 4 people that were related.  (Mom, son, cousin, and cousin in law).  The son, Amet, said he was a member, but yesterday we looke dup his records and couldn't find anything. We can only meet with them once a week.  When we do our lessons are always really great, and they are the perfect investigators during the lessons, asking awesome questions, accepting with only a few doubts what we say.  However they never keep committments  Every time we come by to visit more of Amet's family is there.  Yesterday we were teaching his extended family and friends, and they totaled about 10 people.  This week is district conference for Guanacaste.  The church is going to bus us to Liberia free, so we are hoping that they will join us.  They seemed really interested in coming.
Well, I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of things, but I've got to go.  Love you all!!!!!! (Sorry, there aren't pictures this week, my computer con't send them)
Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Short, But Sweet Week!

Dear Family,

This week's email is going to be short, sorry!

Katalina was baptized Saturday, it was a great baptism service!  My companion and I sang "Nearer my God to Thee"  and we had members give talks.  Katalina was so happy, we really saw how the Gospel changed her life!

We just got back from making pizza at the branch president's house.  It was sure yummy, and mine was definitely the yummiest!

Saturday a recent convert of the Elders brought his mom and brother to the Church for a lesson.  His mom could be his girl-friend, she looks so young! (He's 29, she's 38).  It was a great lesson, they accepted a baptism date for the 13th of June.  

We've been teaching a family that were Jehovah's Witness, well at least were studying with that religion for years.  The dad, Ronald came to church Sunday and in gospel principles we shared stories of times that our prayers were answered.  One investigating couple shared how the father doesn't have work right now, but that they have been praying a lot and know that he will receive work soon.  Then, after the class, I saw Ronald talking to them and telling the father that he could work in construction under him.  That was their answer to their prayer!

A drawing I did for an Hermana in my region

Katalina's Baptism

Making Pizza

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This Work is AWESOME :)

Dear Family,

This week we weren't able to work in our area for 3 days due to that we got to go to San Jose for a monthly leadership conference and we had to go to Liberia twice for a zone conference, and divisions with the Sister Training Leaders there (on account that my companion couldn't come to san jose with us). That ment that I was with Hna Cook and her companion for a day!!! WOOOOOT :) (Woot is something all the missionaries say here.)

However, we were able to still see miracles this week!

One of which is Katalina, she is going to be baptized this Saturday, but because of conflicting schedules we weren't able to see her for a whole week. Which was a little worrisome. Saturday night we finally taught her a lesson, in which she broke down, crying about her trials and how she couldn't come to church the next day because of work. That lesson definitely lasted more than an hour, but by the end through testifying and sharing our love she was able to have the courage to tell her boss she couldn't work. Yesterday she was ready to come to church when her baby fell and her head cut open. Katalina had to rush her to the hospital, but luckily the hospital is across the street from the church and so she was able to arrive...45 mins late, but she got here!

Then in relief society she shared her testimony about the Book of Mormon and how God answerse prayers. One day, after we invited her to baptism she prayed to know what she should do, opened the Book of Mormon to a random page and read:
  3 Nephi 23:5 And whosoever will hearken unto my words and repenteth and isbaptized, the same shall be saved. Search the prophets, for many there be thattestify of these things.
It was so spritually rewarding. This work really is the best!
IT WAS SO GREAT TO SEE YOU ALL YESTERDAY! I'm not ready to come home, but I can't wait to see you again in 6.5 months!  Miss you guys!  Thank you for your love and support!
Hermana Bratt

Divisions with Hermana Cook

My New Name Tag!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Finding Inactives and New Investigators Through Miracles

Dear Family,
Well, all in all this week has been great.  We have had a lot of rain. FINALLY.  After my last area I never wnated to see rain again, until I came hear and was under the hot sun all day long.  It's been nice because the rain makes it a little cooler usually, sometimes there's more humidity though and so it's even hotter.
This week we've seen a lot of miracles in finding inactives.  We've been focusing a lot of finding new investigators, and almost everyday we found new investigators, only to find out that they actually were already baptized in the church.  We are working now on reactivating 4 new inactives each with their own families. We are hoping to be able to convert their families as well. :)
Speaking of inactivse, guess what! Beatriz is actually a member.  We have been teaching her for more than a month and she was super excited about her baptism, but about 3 days ago she commented:  I was baptized in the mormon church a long time ago...WHAT!  At first we didn-t beleive her because she doesn-t have a very good memory,but it turns out that she is a member.  We laughed for the rest of the lesson.  So she wont be getting baptized this month,. one less option for a goal of 7 baptisms, but I guess its a good thing we found out now rather than after the baptism.  Her grandaughter Monserat is going to be baptized the 23rd.  We also met three of her other grandkids.  Nicole, Sharon, and Jean Carlos.  All of them want to be baptized the 8th of June.  Sharon, the oldest, is 16 and she is awesome.  When we met her we had such a Spirit filled lesson.  We finished the opening hymn and prayer and the next thing I knew she was bawling.
We have been trying to use stragem to convert our cook, Hermana Marisol, and her family.  They are really catholic, but amazing people.  Today we are going to have a family night and teaach them about the Plan of Salvation.
Yesterday we had a goal to find 5 new investigators. At about 7:30 pm we still hadn't found a single one, so we said a prayer and asked God to put a famliy that was prepared in our pathway as we walked in the street towards the church.  Well, about a minute after the prayer we passed a couple sitting outside of their house. My companion and Iwere both sure that hte missionaries had already talked to them, because they live really close to our house.  We walked past them without saying anything, but I felt prompted to return and talk to them.  I think my companion said "Hi, we are missionaries.  Can we share a message with you?"  And well, they said yes, let us in, and after a super short but great lesson they accepted a baptism  date for the 30th of May.  The funny thing is that the girl friend, Marielos, is someone that we have contaced in the street many times.  We've even had appointments set to teach her, but both times that we passed by her house she hid from us or said she was Catholic.  Well yesterday she was a little embarassed to recieve us, but her boyfriend was very welcoming and she warmed up to us as well afterwards.  Hopefully this time she listens to God's call!
We have been teaching two parents and their daughter.  Ronald, Sigri, and Pricila.  Sigri and Pricila were Jehovah's Witness and Catholics before and so they have a lot different beliefs that are making it difficult for them to acheive a testimony of the resotred gospel.  But they have both come to church and are progressing slowly.  I think they'll be baptized soon.

Katalina coudnt come to church this wee because of work, so she won-t be getting baptized this Saturday.  We were a little bit bummed.  It was definitely the opposicion working against us!  We are planning her baptism for the 16th.
This week we had 43 lessons!  YAY!  I finally had more than 40, now we will have to shoot for 50 ;). 
Costa Rica is so amazing!
Love you all!
Oh, and last but not least.  I am shooting for calling home Sunday at 4, but it could be anywhere between 3:30 and 4:30.  Is that alright with you guys if not please send tell me within 20 mins!  Also, can I have your skype user ID again?
Hermana Bratt

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Miracles and Apostasy

Dear Family,
Well this week we focused sooo hard on helping Nidia to be baptized.  She was really excited at first and then she started making up excuses for why she couldn't see us and told us that she didn't feel prepared.  It was a little frustrating and sad.  However, we are picking ourselves up again and starting over. 
Now, ready for the miracle?  Our investigator Katalina is going to be baptized the 9th of May. I've aready told you a bit about her, but let me tell you her story: 
About a month ago we were walking down a street when I noticed a woman sitting in her house entrance holding a baby.  She smiled at us when we walked past , but we lept on walking.  we were searching for a house of a referral.  The referral wasn't home so when we returned down the street my companion and I both felt the impression to talk to the woman with the baby.  Well it turns out the Katalina told us that her cousin was a member and that he had told her that he was oging to send the elders over to talk to her about the gospel.  The next day we showed up unexpectedly!  To which I am very greatful, because if we hadn't shown up the elders would have taught her.  Not that it matters if the elders or the hermanas teach someone the gospel, but I feel that we were meant to teach her because we canr relate to her problems better than the elders.  She's really great.
Yesterday she came to church and told us that her daughter was sick and that she had a dream the night before of hands on her baby's head and asked if we gave prayers that way. And so...last night the elders passed her house to give her baby a blessing!  It's amazing the evidence you can see everyday of the existence of God.
We also had two other investigators come to church. One was Sigri who was a Jehovahs witness and when we teach her she talks sooo much and asks SO many questions, but she progressing little by little. The other investigator is Beatriz. Beatriz is an investigator we've been teaching for about a month as well.  She learns really really slowly.  One night she couldn't learn the word apostasy (apostasia) and so we all started saying the word together.  By the end we were chanting "Apostasia! Apostasia!"  (Yes, it was as bad as it sounds!) but gave my companion and I a good laugh afterwards.
What else...we had a multizone conference with President Wilkinson.  They made us breakfast and afterwards we capacitated us about how to plan and teach well.  It was amazing and I think we are now going to improve our teaching a ton.
Well I think that's it for now.  Love you all to the moon and back!
Hermana Bratt

Agiant iguana.  Really it was giant and
just chillin' in the park.  It was probably 5 feet long with it's tail.

Presidente Wilkinson's Birthday

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Week of Frantic Searching!

Dear Family and Friends,
Well this week we found 15 new investigators.  It was a nice number, although I goal was to find 20. We also have 18 Investigators progressing, the goal for the mission is 25.  We are falling short, but just a few weeks ago we only had 4!
This we were searching and trying every means messasary to find people that could be baptized this month.  People that already have attended church.  Well it seemed that at every turn we found old investigators that could be baptized, but they didnt accept to be baptized.  Finally, Saturday night we had our final lesson for the day with an ex-investigator, Nidia.  Nidia was taaght the missionry lessons about 2 years ago, but then she moved to San Jose and the missionaries lost contact with her.  Last week we contacted her daughter-in-law in the street and Nidia walked in to our first lesson with her.
Well Saturday we started asking her questions and after teaching her a small prinicple that God is our loving Heavenly Father I asked her why she never had been baptized.  She told us that she didnt know, and so we asked her if she wanted to be baptized in a week. And her response was...YES!
We were pretty happy, however the storms not oever yet, because we have to help her preapre for baptism in only 5 days.  She doesnt remember too much about the missionry lessons, but shes really good and has a lot of faith in God.  Her husband has alzheimers.
Theres a rule that if an ex-investigator wants to be baptized they still have to attend church at least once while you were in the area.  Yesterday morning we passed by Nidias house to see if she was going to come to church, but she couldnt come because no one could watch her husband and he didn-t want to come to church.  We invited her to come for a least one ohour and she said she would try.
Well at 10 o clock she still hadnt shown up.  i sent her a message to see if she was going to arrive and after a few minutes she called us saying she would arrive in 5 minutes.  It turns out that she passed by at about 9:05 but the doors were closed!  Luckily, though she didnt make it to sacrament meeting she can still be baptized this Saturday.  PLEASE pray for her!  As well as Runia, and ex-inv.  that could be baptized as well, but is a little stubborn and doesnt want to accept a date.
We also had one other investigator in church, Katalina.  Katalina is the cousin of a member.  She is progressing a lot and tentatively accepted a baptism date for May 9th.  She has a lot of fear to change religions because she-s always been Catholic, but shes reading the Book fo Mormon and has found answers to her questions.
Friday  we had a Noche de Herrmanamiento, and played the orange game.  Our inv. and members loved it!
Sorry If Im missing punctuation, I cant find the apostraphy on this keyboard.
Talmage just sent me a few pictures,  WOW he looks really grown up.
Well, Im about out of time.  Love you all!  Dad I hope you and Spencer enjoy our free fishing trip!  Lucky Lucky Luvky.
Spiritual Hint:  If you want to feel the Spirit more, put more effort into your prayers!
Love you all!  Yes, mom I should be able to call home Mothers day....When is mothers day?

 ¡Hasta la proxima semaña!
Hermana Bratt

Paola and her kids,  an awesome investigator that had to move to Limon.

These giant ants were infesting our apartment!  
Luckily our neighbors/owner of the house came over with
ant poison. We are ant free finally!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

There's No Time!

Dear Family,
Well today I don't have any time to write!  We came to San Jose for the month checkup for Hna Miriel and all the newbies.  We had to stand up the whole way in the bus again!  Woot!
We are teaching an investigator named Katalina.  She has had a lot of problems in her life, but she's the cousin of a recent convert and is reading the book of Mormon.  She wants to come to church, but right now is working Sundays.   She is a single mom and is really sincere in her desire to change her life/character.
Paola moved Sunday :(
Mom, have you made plans to come down here next june yet!?  :)  I got the ballet DVD.  Thank you!

My companion, Hna Miriel, is an example in a lot of ways. She always gains so much knowledge in her personal study time. It's made me realize that while at one point in my mission I was like her "hungry for knowledge". I haven't been studying as efficently as before. That's going to change! This week one day we studied in the church because we had to fill up the baptism font. The Spirit we felt there was really beautiful and we are planning to study as much as possible in the church because it helps us focus more and have better estudios. The only problem is we live about 15 mintues away ad have to bring all of our books, however it's worth it to wake up early and lug everything there!

We have to go take our bus back to Nicoya!  Sorry my email is so short!
Love you all!
Hermana Bratt


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

A Tough Week

Dear Family,
Well Tuesday I went to my first leadership meeting with all of the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders.  They've got me pretty scared!  Luckily because I was new I didn't have to give an account of my area or the sisters I am over, but next month I will have to.  If my numbers aren't amazing, or the statisitcs of the sisters I'm over it's pretty shameful.  We are going to have to start working EVEN harder.
This conference weekend we did almost everything to help our investigators come to church, called them, passed for them, had members pass or call, we even made breakfast for Hermana Paola and her children so that she could get ready on time.  Well, only one persons came to church.  Danilo, who is an old investigator that a member invited.  That means the only person that came to church was a person that we didn't even talk too!  It's a little frustrating, because we've also been working with less actives/inactives and three of them came to church.  But it seems that our investigators just won't come.  The mayority of them say they will come to church and they are really positve about it, but they just don't show up. 
We have the goal of 4 baptisms this month, but investigators have to come to church three times before they can be baptized.  While we are still working towards our goal we don't have any possibilities right now.  Unless a new family that has come to church moves here we are kind of out of luck. 
Also, Paola is moving about 7 hours away!  We were pretty sad, bacuase she is progressing a lot, reaading the Book of Mormon, etc.  I don't think the new town she is going to live in has missionaries, but I'm going to check.
Okay, sorry if the last few paragraphs sound a little gray/ pessemistic.  Really, I know that the Lord can perform miracles.  My companion and I read an article in the Liahona for this month that has made us re analyze faith.  In it the writer said that "Faith is hope in a true principle"  Well, something like that.  In spanish it said "La fe es la esperanza en un principio verdadero".  For example, to say "I know the Lord can heal my arm" isn't faith rather faith is to say " I know that the Lord has the power to heal".   Really, you should just read the article! I don't remember what it's called though.  Sorry!  Look in the Liahona for this month.
And so, we have hope that the Lord can help us, will help us if we do our part. 
We've been teaching a new family Jesus and Carmen, that live on the same street as the branch president.  They look pretty promising. Jesus is really receptive of everything we say, but Carmen is a loittle bit tougher.

Well, today we went fishing!  However, no one caught anything.  The fish did keep on eating my shrimp though.  I was the only one that was getting any bites.  (Sorry if I sound boastful, but I am a fisherman's daughter!)  We did happen to see a bunch of iguanas and monkeys though.  They told us that the river we were fishing in has aligators in it.  But we fished on high river banks and so weren't close to the water. (AKA Don't worry mom) I'm getting pretty good at fishing with just a block of wood and a line!

Thank you all for every pray you say for me! I hope you enjoy Mexico and say hi to everyone for me!
Love love love you!
Hermana Bratt

Monkeys we woke from a nap

Me fishing

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Busy, Busy, Busy

Dear Family,
Well, first things first: Jerson and José weren't baptized.  They looked so promising but afterwards we could never get a hold of them.  It was a bit sad :(  I think Jerson started feeling a little bit pressured, and so we've decided to wait for a week or two and then start again.  Hopefully he can be baptized some day soon!
Other things to say, hmm.  Well my new companion is super sweet and I've very greatful to have the opportunity to train her.  It's kind of funny, because she copies EVERYTHING I do.  I have to be super careful that I don't do anything wrong, because she copies it all.  I think it's just because she's new and doesn't know what to do yet.
Tomorrow we are going to San Jose at 3 am so that I can be in a leadership meeting with the other STL (sister training leaders) and zone leaders and President Wilkinson.
These last two transfers it has been super dificult to get people to attend church, but we've talked to our zone leaders and have a few ideas of what we can do better.  Pray that we can have a lot of investigators attend conference!
This week I "hosted" (I don't know what other word to use) my first divisions/splits.  It was with Hna Guit from Guatemala.  I'm not sure yet exactly what i am supposed to do as STL, but one thing is that I have to go on splits with a different hermana every week. It will be nice to learn from all of them! 
As a STL I have to call the hermanas in my zone each night for their daily numbers, and Sundays for weekly numbers.  I'm basically responsable for them and if they are disobedient or not having success I'm here to help them.  It's been hard finding time to do things.  Every second I'm on the phone, trying to explain something to my companion that she doesn't understand, in a lesson, etc.  The Lord's work is a busy work!

Yesterday we and a great lesson with an investigator, Paola.  She is a single mother with 3 children under the age of 4.  She is really special, but hasn't wanted to come to church because her children are really noisy.  But our goal is that she can be baptized the 25 of April. 
We also are teaching a YM, Justin.  He is 19 and we've only taught about the restauration but he seems really intersted.  We have a goal of 4 baptisms for the month of April.
That's about all I can think of, thank you grandma for the monthly packages!  Happy late birthday Dad and happy birthday Grandma Bratt!  Love you all!  And tell everyone hi from me when you go to Mexico.
Les Quiero!
Hermana Bratt



They split our zone, we are now Zona San Roque!



Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Week of Changes!



Dear Family,
So much has happened this week!  Wednesday I was saying my nightly prayers (it was 10:30) when the Asistants called me to tell me that my companion had transfers Friday but that I was going to train again and so we needed to be in San Jose at 12 pm the next day.  What followed was a quick clean up of the house as my companion packed.
We left early in the morning the next day and when we arrived at the mission office my companion went out on divisions as I sat in a meeting about training.  Afterwards The two other sisters that were going to train and I went out on divisions until seven pm.  I was with my trainer/first companion Hna Muñoz!  At 8:00 pm I lead all the new missionaries to the presidents house (a 20 min walk)  and might have gotten us all lost.  (What can I say, I've traveled to the president's house a lot, but it was dark!  Don't worry mom, I was only about three blocks south of where we needed to be.)
At 8:30 we arrived at the Presidents house, at a quick dinner and received our companions at 9 pm.  My new companion is Hermana Miriel.  She is from Mexico.  She's 19.  Her best friend is serving in Costa Rica as well.  Hna Miriel is really awesome.  I've already learned a bunch from her.
At 4:15 the next morning we woke up and got ready to go to a mission conference presided by Elder Maine. Afterwards we took the bus back to Nicoya.  We didn't get home until 10:30 Friday night. During the bus ride I started thinking of what we wcould do more in order to achieve our goal of 2 baptisms for this month.  We haven't had any inviestigators attend church lately and so none of our investigators can be baptized.  However, I ended up calling about half the members in our branch asking them to pray for us so that we can complete our goal.  One member even offered to fast for us!
Saturday we decided to contact an ex-investigator, a 20 year old named Jerson.  We started talking to him and he ended up telling us his story, that in Novemeber almost got baptized but then decided that he wasn't prepared.  My companion started talking about how we can feel prepared, how we can recognize answers, etc.  She was awesome.  We felt the Spirit so strongly and as we ended the lessons committed him to be baptized this Saturday!
Now....The sad thing is that we didn't come to church yesterday when he said he would, but he still had attened chruch more than 3 times so he can be baptized.  The happy thing is yesterday after church we went to find him and ended up talking to his dad, Jose.  Josè had has all of the missionary lessons and read  almost all of the book of Mormon.  He told us that he hasn't been baptized because he hasn't recieved an answer that he should yet.  I committed to prayer yesterday with the question "Heavenly Father, should I be baptized the 28th of March?" and then read a chapter from the Book of Mormon.  He said if he recieved an answer he could come home early from work Saturday to be baptized!!!!!!!  We have an appointment at 4 today to see what's happened.
Please please please please please please pray from Jose and Jerson!  I know that they can be baptized this Saturday!
Okay, last thing: They have split our zone into two zone and Sunday right before church our new zone leader called me it tell me that I'm the new sister training leader for the zone.  WHAT.   I was so surprised and didn't beleive him.  I had the sister training leaders of my old zone call him to make sure.  They called me back congratulating me.  AHHH!  I was hoping they would tell me it was a mistake.  I still really didn't beleive it, but the Asistants called me today in the morning to ask if I had any questions about my new assingment.  I can't beleive it!  When someones a new sister training leader she's usually with an old leader so that she can learn and they both or sister traingin leaders. I was just called out of the blue, and I've never been trained or anything.  Plus, I'm all alone and training a newbie.  AHHHHHH
Anyways, A lot of things have happened.  I need all the prayers possible!  And all the advice you have.
Well, this is my rant for this week.  Sorry the email is so long and wordy!  I'm kind of freaking out, but happy!
Love you all!
Hermana Bratt

Me and My Trainer!

Me With My Hija - and Elder Lopez, one of the Assistants, photo bombing

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Pura Vida

Dear Family, 

Well...this week passed, and right now I can't remember anything that happened.  Hmmm let's think.

Sunday an American couple that lives in our ward, the Maxwells, invited us to eat lunch after church.  Well we all piled in there car and started what ended up being an hour and a half car ride. When we finally arrived at their house they did have any food ready and so we had to wait about another 1 and a half for it to cook.  When we finally got home it was about 6 pm.  Another bad thing is we went with couple missionary as well that are serving in Liberia, an area about 2 hours away from Nicoya.  They probably didn't get home until 8 or 9.

Being as we lost a lot of time Sunday we decided to end our p-day early yesterday so we could work a little longer.  If the Maxwells invite us to their house again it will have to be on a p-day, because we wasted way too much time! (We didn't know they lived so far away!).  However, I was able to give a Book of Mormon away to one of the Maxwell's neighbors.  He's a young man named Jonatan, or something like that, and he seemed super special and interested in reading it.

It sounds like you all had a blast in DC without me.  Mom sent me a couple pictures, but send me more!!!!!!!!!!!!  PLEASE.  

One of the miracles we had was that on Saturday we went to visit a fairly new family of investigators, Luis and Roci. When we arrived Roci's mom was there too.  We started talking and it turns out that Roci's mom, Ritsy is a member.  She was baptized about 30 years ago and has been inactive for about that long as well.  However she has a lot of good memories from attending church.  She told us before she moved away and left the church she was preparing to serve a mission.  We told her she could still serve one, as all of her children are grown up, and she was really excited.  She then told us that she was going to come to church Sunday and bring Roci and Luis.  It was an awesome experience.  Although they didn't end up coming to church yesterday, they all slept in, I have a lot of hope for this family!

Our cook, Marisol,  isn't a member, her whole family are catholic. However, they are really great people and I know that Lord wants them to eaccept the restored gospel.  We've started teaching Marisol the missionary lessons everyday at lunch (unbeknownst to her).  She doesn't like to be preached to if it's not in the Bible, but we've been using a lot of strategy.  Mwahaha.

Transfers have been moved to Friday, as two area seventy are coming to speak to us.  All of the missionaries have to be in San Jose in a stake center at 8:30 am Friday morning, (Many with suitcases).  We don't know if either of us have transfers, but for sure we are going to have to take a bus at 3 am.  Woot. 

Love you all!

¡Pura Vida!

Hermana Bratt

The soup here has lots of BIG veggies

I opened up a balm for muscles and found a nice message from dad,
one he wrote 10 months ago.  Thanks dad!  Love you too.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Week of Travels

Dear Family,

Well we didn't have much success in our area as we were gone from it a lot last week.  Wednesday we heard a general authority, Elder Alonso, speak.  I learned a lot of great things from him.  He also kind of hinted that he can see President Wilkinson as a general authority soon.  And it's true, President Wilkinson is so strong and firm in the gospel and a great leader.

Luckily when we returned to Nicoya we had seats this time.  I never again want to ride in a bus for 5 hours standing up in my life time.

Saturday and Sunday we had divisions with our sister-training leaders. I was with Hermana Corrales, who is from Costa Rica and has 17 months in the mission.  She is super great, and it was a great learning experience for me.

We still don't have any baptisms planned for this month, but today we are going to visit an ex-investigator of Hna Perez that gets along with me really well and we are going to try and commit her to baptism.  The ex-investigator is names Runia.  Evidently she had some problems with the missionary that was here before me.  But I've only talked with her 3 times and every time she wants to give me things/gifts.  I don't know why! Evidently she's never offered anything to Hna Perez and her other companion.

We've been trying to serve the members here a lot.  They are really great, but we are trying to win their confidence more.

While we were searching for a street contact-s house we found an ex-investigator, Karla.  She accepted a baptism date for April 11th.  And I think she's going to progress, which is great.

We have an investigator named Angie, and after we taught about the formation of the church while Christ was on the earth and the great apostasy we committed her to baptism.  She accepted, but said "I'll only be baptized April 11th if I know for certain that the person that is going to baptize me has the authority of God."  It was super awesome to hear her say that, because we could see that she understood the importance of the Priesthood, which so many of our investigators don't understand.

The branch president and his wife support us a lot, which is great!

Next week is transfers, and I'm pretty sure Hna Perez is going to leave, as she already has 4 transfers here.  We'll see what happens!

Love you all!  Les Quiero.

Hermana Bratt

A Ward Missionary Activity. We are playing the flour game! Runia is the one in pink.

Me and Hermana Corales

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Growing Up in Nicoya

Dear Family,

First things first, Britani and Maryori were baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (My old investigators from Turrialba).  I don't know the details but Hna Samayoa sent me a picture that I'll forward to you all.  I am super super happy.  I only wish I could have been there to support them and experience this amazing change with them.

As for things here in Nicoya, well this week I've felt like I've finally started growing up.  President Wilkinson came for a zone conference.  I was on the front row in the middle, and felt the Spirit so strongly the full 3 hours.  I can't believe I only have 9 months left.  This can't be happening.  I have so many things to do still! 

Hermana Wilkinson told us that we have to start visiting old investigators and asking them to return their Books of Mormon.  If they don't want to return them they'll need to accept us back into their homes.  She said, quoting the Are presidency,that "The Lord has prepared SOMEONE to have that book."

It has been a little hard getting a long with my companion, but this week has been a lot better and we are working a lot better together, which I know helps us a ton, because it's been hard to feel the spirit in our lessons.  

We've started serving the members this week a lot in order to gain their confidence and trust more.  Slowly but surely we've started receiving a few referrals.  

We found a few new investigators this week and they accepted baptisms dates.  They even looked really promising, but already problems have come up.  We don't have anyone that is ready to be baptized, but I know we are going to see miracles.  We just have to work harder and be more obedient.

This week we have a multizone conference with Elder Alonso, so right now we are in San Jose.  We are going to sleep over at the Hermanas house so that we can go to the conference tomorrow morning.  Today we went to Price Smart which is like Costco but with a different name.  I bought Honey Nut Bunches of Oats.  YUMMY.

I don't have much time today and this computer is AWFUL.  I can't type fast.  The computer screen is above my head!  But thank you EVERYONE who emailed me or has written me these past months.  I just received some more Christmas and Happy Birthday cards.  If I don't respond to your emails today I will next P-day!

XOXOXOXOXO

Hermana Bratt


Honey Bunches of Oats!!!

Eating at Taco Bell 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Another Week in Nicoya

Dear Family,
Well this week we've found a few promising investigators.  Two of which are Loura and Eliecer.  They are a coupe that have been together for 5 years.  I think I told you guys before about Loura, but this week we met her boyfriend.,  We tough he was going to be scary from wat Loura has told us, but is really great.  Loura wants to be married but Eliecer isn't sure yet.  He wants to come to curch next week to see if he will receive an answer from the Lord about whether he should marry her or not.  They accepted a baptism date for the 28th of March.
This week we fasted to know what are goal for baptisms is for the month of March.  Though we don't have anyone that is ready to be baptized our goal is 2 baptisms.  I know that we can acheive it if we work hard enough!
Yesterday we made pizza at a members house for Pday.  It was super yummy which was nice, because usally te pizza here isn-t that great.  Speaking of food...we at a less=active-s house and se gave us chocolate cake thhat she made.  Well the first couple mouthfuls were great...until I tasted something weird.  I flipped the cake over to see the bottom of it covered in mold!  I couldnt say anything though and so I scraped a little off and finished eating it.  I definitely havent wanted to return to eat anyting there!
Sorry this eamil is super short, I can-t tink of anyting else.  Love you all a bunch.  Send me pictures!
Hermana Bratt

A Book (that looks suspiciously like chocolate) that Grandma Sent me! 

Makin Pizza

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Still Adjusting to My New Area

Dear Family,

This week I've still been adjusting to my new area, things here are really different than in Turrialba. Our area is HUGE and we are always always wlking, as there aren't buses here.  My companion is the exact opposite of Hermana Samayoa.  Hermana Perez is a lot more serious, but she's good at getting everything done that needs to be done and remaining on top of things.  Hna Perez is 24 and studied medicine for three years before she came on her mission, so I'm in good hands if I get sick!

Yesterday we went to the beach for P-day.  The water was super warm and there were coral shells everywhere.  We could only walk in the ocean up to about mid calf/knees.  It was hard not going in further.

Yesterday we also found anew investigator, Loura.  Loura was a referral from a neighborhood girl.  When we knocked on her door Loura said she was super surprised because none of her neighbors like her and she spend all day hiding in her house.  Loura has a ton of problems and isn't keeping many commandments right now, but when she left she thanked us for coming and said that she felt a lot better and more peaceful.

Sunday only on investigator came to church, Delma.  Delma has a baptism scheduled for March 21st.  She's great, but learns really really slowly.  We have to re-teach her the previous lesson every time we visit her.

This week we were trying to find a bunch of new investigators that we knew could progress and be baptized.  We probably taught 15-20 new people, but of them only 9 we counted as investigators and of theses 9 only 3 or 4 look really promising.  By the end of the week I was a bit tired of teaching the first lesson, (Which just so you know isn't the restoration we teach ten points about our purpose as missionaries and then teach about our loving Heavenly Father and that the gospel blesses our families).

Sunday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting!  I was a little nervous, but I think it went really well. I talked about keeping the Sabbath.  Our branch president is ADD and is ALWAYS moving or talking, or joking, etc.  But he's really great.  His wife was a missionary and is really great as well.  We ate with President Solis and his wife Geselle (Branch President) Sunday.

Doctrine and Covenants 39
 5 And verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth my gospel receiveth me; and he that receiveth not my gospel receiveth not me.

 6 And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom.

I've always taught that the gospel is the plan of God and the teachings of Jesus Christ, and while it is those things it is also something more simple, to repent and be baptized!!!!!!!  This is really what we teach when we teach about the restored gospel or about the Atonement, or about the Word of Wisdom.  This is our message to the world!

THANK YOU Grandma for always sending me packages!  I just received another one with yummy chocolate :)

Love you all!  No me olviden!!!  estan en mis oraciones!

Hermana Bratt

Us on the Beach

Yes, I almost have 9 months on the mission. How does time go by so fast!!!